Gunsmoke and Horseshit: How Mass Murder Became Boring

 Gilroy. El Paso. Dayton. Queue the tears. The roses. Hollow prayers. Teddy bears. Political doublespeak. And horseshit. Lots of horseshit. Almost as much horseshit as the tonnage of guns and ammo in the Misguided States of America.

Is there any point to writing about mass murder these days? It might sound callous, but mass murder has become mind numbingly boring. We know several things that surpass the likelihood of the sun rising: that not a damn thing will change and that tomorrow somewhere else will break out the tears, roses, prayers, and Teddy bears. And through their anguish, the survivors will have to endure the indignity of doublespeak and horseshit.

If Columbine didn't move the needle and if gun-toting monsters create forums and Websites claiming Sandy Hook was faked, you know that taking out a few Texans at Walmart or some angry white dude in Ohio –and aren't they always white dudes?–who slew his sister and anyone else in the way won't change things. Where will it be tomorrow? A ballpark? The White House? Disneyworld? Another synagogue? Another Sunday school class?  A mosque? Spin the wheel. Which state gets its 30 minutes of shame, blame, and infamy?

I'm sick of it. We all know the answer. It's what's it's always been. Take. Away. The guns. That's what they did in Scotland. That's what is happening in New Zealand. But we also know what will be said instead. Check your favorite phrase from the list below:

·      This was the action of a lone mentally deranged gunman.
·      If we had concealed carry laws, someone would have taken out the gunman.
·      The majority of gun owners are law-abiding and it's not fair to lump them with murders.
·      If we banned guns we wouldn't stop murders.
·      If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. (Well, yeah!)
·      We don't want a nanny state.
·      The 2nd Amendment gives me the right to bear arms.
·      This is no time to politicize gun violence. (And when would be the time?)

Any one of these is child's play to demolish. Try to make it harder for mentally ill people to get guns and the N.R.A. throws a wobbly. Maybe we should just compile a list of all the deranged people in the nation and give each a small tactical nuclear weapon. Or would that be redundant? Do we even want to discuss why it's nearly always white men who are so bat shit crazy and why they think it's okay to take others with them down the exit ramp?

Hey Colorado, Ohio, and Texas are concealed carry states. What happened? Couldn't anyone get their gun out of the pants they were busy crapping? Concealed carry is an even bigger load of horseshit than the idea that armed teachers will protect students from angry white boys.

How can I chastise law-abiding gun owners? Easy: On both the levels of complicity and and of the greater public good. There are all manner of things we can't do because community good tops individual rights. Maybe you could safely operate a car at 100 mph. Try telling that to the cop who pulls you over. Maybe you can do a controlled burn of the woods behind your house. Then, again, maybe you can't. Hey, why not legalize heroin? Maybe your kid needs a beating. Don't try it in public and don't leave any marks. Who says you need auto insurance to be on the road? Yada, yada, yada… But the thing is, if you think guns are sacred you are complicit in an uncivil attack on the very ideals of public safety and the greater public good. You are saying, "My right matters more than the welfare of others."  

You are right that nothing can make us completely safe. But you don't have to be a math major to compute the odds. A run-around appeal to 100% safety just marks you as foolish, stupid, selfish, or all three. It's this simple: Nowhere else has mass shootings of this magnitude. There are many dangerous places in the world–Brazil, Syria, and certain provinces of Mexico–but for all of Trump's rage over criminal Mexicans, its 29,000 homicides aren't a patch on our 40,000. But even were ours lower, shouldn't we compare ourselves to the safest nations, not the least? 

As for the rest, yes it's time for a nanny state. We clearly cannot police ourselves. We can't even agree that no one needs a military assault rifle to shoot Bambi. So let the government step in. Get rid of all the guns. All of them. The Second Amendment does not impress me. It never meant what you thought it did anyhow, but we have the capacity to alter the Constitution so let's repeal the damn thing. You know, like we did the 18th. Change the Constitution. Like we did when we decided that slavery was not humane or that women should have the right to vote. The "original intent" of the Founders is just another bucket of horseshit for the pile. The Founders knew they weren't creating a perfect union or a perfect document. That's why they created provisos for changing the Constitution and it's why we've done so 27 times.

I'd like to politicize the hell out of guns. Declare the NRA a terrorist organization. After all, white males have killed more Americans than Al Qaida ever did. Suspend Mitch McConnell over a fiery spit until he reveals how he's been bought and sold by the gun lobby. Make pro-gun Bernie Sanders feel the heat as well.

Of course, none of this will happen. The roses, Teddy bears, and tombstone industry will continue to thrive. But shall we? Or will the methane of all the horseshit raise the global temperature, melt the ice caps, and wash us away in a Biblical-style flood? Don't bet against the Last American firing his AK-47 into the sky before he sinks to perdition. 

1 comment:

Derek Harper said...

Fabulous article. Wish I had the chops to write that. But lil' ol' England has it's animal waste to contend with!